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Virtual training, software & turbo choice

richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
edited September 2015 in Training, fitness and health
Last weekend I was in a bike store that had a wahoo kick set up with an iPad mounted on the handlebars using cyclops software to simulate climbing Alp d'Huez. It was brilliant as when the course reached an incline the resistance automatically adjusted to match.
I currently use a Tacx Satori but would love to have a setup like this so here are my questions;
1. I like the idea of the direct drive turbo as there is no slippage from a rear wheel. Are there any other advantages/disadvantages of one over a regular turbo?
2. On my training bike I use a stages power meter to record power and cadence with a garmin strap and 810 and then download to mac and training peaks. What is the best software to use either on the mac or an iPad for the virtual training that will also control resistance?
3. The guy in the shop said that many of the courses are open source and free, any idea of where to get them?
4. Finally what the turbos would you recommend to work with all this apart from the kickr as its a bit on the pricey side?
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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    You can go the expensive route
    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... ius-28817/
    The Kickr you dont need anyway as you already have a PM

    or
    keep the Satori
    Subscribe to Trainer Road and use Sufferfest as well as others.
    Keep the change for another set of racing wheels.
  • richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
    I have used trainerroad and love it but I like the idea of the software controlling the resistance to match the course. Sufferfest does not do that as much as I remember.
    Some of the machines I have been looking a are the Elite Mium, Tax Bushido, Cycleops powerbeam. Any thoughts or recommendations?
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I have a Cycleops Powerbeam and use it with Cycleops Virtual Training software.

    The two do provide an excellent way to train. I've done a lot of the routes in real life and doing them on the Powerbeam is pretty close both in terms of effort and power (close but not exact, I find for the same power climbs are quicker on the Powerbeam). It is harder and more realistic having the resistance constantly changing compared to having you in control as on a normal turbo. And it's motivating to download a new ride and see what the rest of the world looks like, e.g. theres a great South African ride that runs by the sea that I did last week when it was pouring down outside.

    Also there are on-line challenges and races as further incentive, though these do show one issue, as power<>speed seems to vary widely between different setups.

    In terms of build quality, seems excellent. I have been hammering mine for 2 years now and it still seems as good as new.

    All that being said the setup is expensive. Apart from the initial price the software has an annual fee. This aside I would recommend checking the Powerbeam out if you are interested in a full VR setup.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    Just installing the Zwift Beta. This could be fantastic...

    I currently use Cycleops virtual training albeit in a 'dumb' setup using a powertap powermeter, it's great but I think would definitely be more, erm... enjoyable? on Bahzob's setup.
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    PS. I forgot to mention one other good thing about the Powerbeam/CVT setup. There is a separate section where you can create workouts where you can precisely specify how long intervals/rest will be and what power they are to be done at.You can even link videos or music to each section.

    Then to train all you need to do is click start and pedal.

    This may sound trivial but it makes training very precise and straight forward. It also makes it harder to quit, An e.g. was the OU session I linked in another thread:https://app.strava.com/activities/243530337
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    Holy Carp! :shock:

    Zwift is IMPRESSIVE. At the moment it's just one 5k loop but it is like playing a proper freaking video game. I'm very very impressed. Very.
    When it expands this thing is going to revolutionise home training.
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • harry-sharry-s Posts: 266
    Elite do a similar virtual system that you can use with their digital turbos or rollers. If you're using an I-phone or I-pod you'll need an ANT+ dongle to get the power/speed/cadence/HR data in. You can shoot a video on your I-phone of a route (from your car or bike) and the app will load it as a course, you can then ride it with the rollers/turbo changing the resistance to suit. There's also a library of famous courses you can buy, and a library of user courses that are free.

    http://www.elite-it.com/en/products/tra ... ng#gallery
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,448
    harry-s wrote:
    Elite do a similar virtual system that you can use with their digital turbos or rollers. If you're using an I-phone or I-pod you'll need an ANT+ dongle to get the power/speed/cadence/HR data in. You can shoot a video on your I-phone of a route (from your car or bike) and the app will load it as a course, you can then ride it with the rollers/turbo changing the resistance to suit. There's also a library of famous courses you can buy, and a library of user courses that are free.

    http://www.elite-it.com/en/products/tra ... ng#gallery

    I have an Elite Qubo Digital, and as well as the above you can use the iQubo app to plot a route anywhere in the world and send it to the turbo to ride. It also comes with it's own head unit if you just want to get on and ride, control power or do one of the preset programs. I've had it a year and can't fault it at all, they're currently £270 at Wiggle which is a massive bargain for what you can do with it.
  • richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
    I read that on some of these software setups you can use 3rd party videos. Can anyone recommend where to go for these videos outside of the cyclops or elite sites, preferably free!
  • Another option is http://www.turbotraining.co.uk. You can plot a route using GPS and ride it on a map. You can also race other people which is always a sure fire way to boost motivation. The mapping stuff on their site is free.
  • PMB70PMB70 Posts: 5
    Hi Richiegwy

    Where did you see the Wahoo kickr set up? I really like the sound of it but would like to see it working before ordering.

    Cheers
  • BrandonABrandonA Posts: 553
    NapoleonD wrote:
    Holy Carp! :shock:

    Zwift is IMPRESSIVE. At the moment it's just one 5k loop but it is like playing a proper freaking video game. I'm very very impressed. Very.
    When it expands this thing is going to revolutionise home training.

    Comparing Zwift to VT at this moment in time is like comparing boys to men.

    Zwift is a beta system which is missing a lot of basic features and doesn't implement what it has very well. I've tried Zwift on my Kickr a couple of times and will use it occasionally for a bike of variety. If you like riding around the same route every single time and like overtaking both virtual and real strangers then it might be of interest - assuming y ou your power numbers are more important then the lap times as these don't work very well. I think Zwift is good for people without devices like the Kickr but if you have a Kickr then you might as well ride a more accurate system.

    VT is currently far better - who knows Zwift may overtake it. You can ride any course in the world including any you upload yourself. You can also use it for interval training. You can organise races with people. The power requested to ride a course is far better than Zwift.
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    Well, I have VT and Zwift at the moment. Been using VT for about 12 months.

    I think once Zwift gets out of Beta it will be absolutely amazing.

    That said, I love VT as well.

    Just finished an interval session, winding down watching the sunrise...

    https://vine.co/v/OT9bjF02l71
    Twitter - @NapD
    Strava - Alex Taylor (sportstest.co.uk)
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • richiegwyrichiegwy Posts: 171
    PMB70 wrote:
    Hi Richiegwy

    Where did you see the Wahoo kickr set up? I really like the sound of it but would like to see it working before ordering.

    Cheers


    Base2Race in Dublin
  • PMB70PMB70 Posts: 5
    Ah, that's a shame I live in Oxfordshire!!

    Has anyone seen a Kickr set up within striking distance of Oxfordshire/ Buckinghamshire?

    Thanks
  • If you have tried a Kickr and enjoyed it why not stick with that??

    I use the CycleOps Virtual training software because its cheap (£4.50 a month) and offers the ability to ride virtual courses that people have created or you create yourself from rides you have previously done. It also has the ability to ride structured intervals and the ability to just free ride and do what ever wattage you fancy.

    I honestly don't see the point in virtual route based software unless you have a resistance controlled turbo trainer. With a device like a Kickr when you get to a hill you have to put in the effort to climb it and if you don't you will stop but with a basic turbo you can just pedal at what ever cadence\power you like and the software works out your speed for the hill which is pointless really as you don't actually have to put in any extra effort for any part of your ride.

    I have used Zwift but think its a bit too cartoon like and ultimately a little pointless. I think their biggest problem will be how much they charge for their service as it looks like they want to change £10 a month which to me is way to high when compared to Virtual Trainings £4.50 as you don't get any of the Interval Training.
  • I would love to get a kick but there are 2 things going against it for me; (1) Price, (2) portability, its a lot heavier and bigger compared to a regular fold trainer.

    Can anyone tell me how you adjust resistance on cyclops powerboat trainers without a computer? Is the only way via a tablet/phone as I don't see a controller with it unless you purchase the joule 3.0?
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    Does anyone know if it's possible to use the Cycleops VT software offline?

    I've got a powerbeam which came with the PC software, but my turbo setup is out of relaible wifi range so I've not been able to use it for virtual training. Currently got an old desktop PC in the turbo den and have tried to run it on that with a wifi repeater but the signal is still weak and the PC is underpowered so it's never worked well. Thinking of getting a newer laptop to run the software, would it be possible to load a route on to the PC in the house with a decent internet connection and then ride it offline?
  • bobinskibobinski Posts: 568
    I have just invested in the Bkool and I am really getting to like it. Software a little counter intuitive at times but improving. Pretty awesome riding with others or against bots/ghosts. If you go over to the cyclechat forums there is a lively Bkool forum with weekly leagues.
    I would have gone with the Kickr which lots of people run with the Bkool software but it is just too big and heavy for me not having a dedicated turbo space.
  • I have a BKool and am loving it so much that it's seriously disrupting my marathon training. Another 2 hour run in the rain, or a 3 hour turbo session....

    I'm finding that I'm getting much more out of my turbo training than I ever have (I've used a 'dumb' Tacx for about 4 years) as I push myself much more. There's been times when I get of the turbo barely able to stand up.

    The s/w's pretty cool, but I'm still not sure how the bots and ghosts sometimes seem to gain so quickly at times as they seem to be able to gain a lead (or decrease my lead) faster than real time (i.e. in 1 minute of riding they may have increased their lead by 2 minutes). I perhaps need to read the instructions !
  • pauljinkpauljink Posts: 51
    Just thought I'd revive this old-ish thread as I've just ordered a BKool ProTrainer from their website.

    Wasn't really in the market for one, but you can basically rent one for a month for £1 before deciding if you want to keep it. Thought it was too good an opportunity to turn down.

    Can't wait to get it and try out multiplayer and upload my own routes.

    http://www.bkool.com/bike-trainer?utm_source=turbobiketrainer&utm_medium=december&utm_term=banner&utm_campaign=%20bike-trainer04
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,357
    I read that on some of these software setups you can use 3rd party videos. Can anyone recommend where to go for these videos outside of the cyclops or elite sites, preferably free!

    The software I have developed:
    http://www.wattzap.com/
    supports the RLV video format and the TTS format. There's a paid for and open source version. That gives you access to the 50 or more Tacx videos and the hundreds of third party videos.
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I've been looking at this seriously recently as I'm looking at setting something up in the house for the winter - especially as we have a new baby on the way, being out for several hours is going to be out of the question.

    I've been mostly looking at Zwift, looks great from the videos, but others here don't rate it so much?

    Also BKool, it confuses me somewhat, so many different options and ways to ride and yet doesn't really explain how any of them actually work in practice. So I don't know what it's all about really, could anyone give some insight?

    Also at the moment I just have a bike and nothing else. So I would need to buy a smart trainer, TV for the wall, PC to run it all on.
  • pauljinkpauljink Posts: 51
    I've been looking at this seriously recently as I'm looking at setting something up in the house for the winter - especially as we have a new baby on the way, being out for several hours is going to be out of the question.

    I've been mostly looking at Zwift, looks great from the videos, but others here don't rate it so much?

    Also BKool, it confuses me somewhat, so many different options and ways to ride and yet doesn't really explain how any of them actually work in practice. So I don't know what it's all about really, could anyone give some insight?

    Also at the moment I just have a bike and nothing else. So I would need to buy a smart trainer, TV for the wall, PC to run it all on.

    I'm not too sure either, I've only really watched a few YouTube videos, but I gather the following:
    - You can upload your own routes from Garmins etc. I believe this uses Google Earth or similar software, and it shows you cycling through familiar environments. Think this is sluggish and the animation obviously isn't brilliant
    - there are a number of videos you can follow. Basically prerecorded and the video speeds up or slows down relative to your speed.
    - group races are scheduled and you can race other riders through animated courses. This looks to be done fairly well, though some people complain performance is not exactly replicated on the screen, so sounds like this is a bit buggy.

    You get access to all of this for the first year, then some of it is subscription based at around £10 a month

    You would need the trainer, laptop or PC / monitor. I'd imagine a Raspberry Pi with Windows installed could be adequate, or the more expensive PC-on-a-stick you can get for £100 or so should also do it
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    You would need the trainer, laptop or PC / monitor. I'd imagine a Raspberry Pi with Windows installed could be adequate, or the more expensive PC-on-a-stick you can get for £100 or so should also do it

    I would doubt that? As I know that these things are pretty graphics intensive, I know Zwift certainly is. I've downloaded Zwift and BKool onto my office PC - which is a fairly decent setup but a crappy graphics card - and obviously no bike attached! And they run like absolute censored .
  • pauljinkpauljink Posts: 51
    You would need the trainer, laptop or PC / monitor. I'd imagine a Raspberry Pi with Windows installed could be adequate, or the more expensive PC-on-a-stick you can get for £100 or so should also do it

    I would doubt that? As I know that these things are pretty graphics intensive, I know Zwift certainly is. I've downloaded Zwift and BKool onto my office PC - which is a fairly decent setup but a crappy graphics card - and obviously no bike attached! And they run like absolute censored .

    I would check benchmarks for the Pi 2, as I've seen reports it's got fairly decent graphics performance. I'd imagine it completely trashes an office PC
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Well if someone could get Zwift working on an HDMI plugin PC then I'd be buying one straight away!
  • Alpina007Alpina007 Posts: 106
    I could do with some advice before I spend money on something that won't do what I want it to do.

    Looking for a turbo that lets me have the following. Control the power in apps such as Trainerroad, have the ability to ride virtual routes & use Strava segments.

    The Wahoo Kickr appears to tick all the boxes but I would prefer to avoid the cost if possible.

    Looked at the Tacx Vortex & Bushido units but the information on their ability to achieve my needs is a bit confusing. Some sites indicate they would work and others suggest the need for an upgrade kit.

    Is there anything that would recommend around £500.00 that would tick my boxes?
  • bobinskibobinski Posts: 568
    Pop over to DC rainmakers site where he has assessed the impact of the new fec Ant extension and support from Tacx. I have a Bkool, which i really enjoy using not least because of the community that has built up around it but Bkool run a closed ant+ restricting smart use t their software.
  • Alpina007Alpina007 Posts: 106
    Pop over to DC rainmakers site where he has assessed the impact of the new fec Ant extension and support from Tacx. I have a Bkool, which i really enjoy using not least because of the community that has built up around it but Bkool run a closed ant+ restricting smart use t their software.

    Thanks and will do, I had noticed that the BKool wouldn't tie in with Trainerroad.

    Can you tell me if the BKool software lets you use the Sufferfest videos?
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